Mark Emmert

Nine teams ineligible for postseason play due to Academic Progress Rate numbers

2 Comments

Regardless of what the opinions are when it comes to the effectiveness of the Academic Progress Rate, the fact of the matter is that the system is the one being used to monitor the academic progress of student-athletes. Programs are now required to post a multi-year score of at least 930, or a two-year average of 940, in order to be eligible for postseason competition.

On Wednesday the NCAA announced that nine men’s basketball programs will be ineligible due to their APR scores. Those schools are Alabama State, Appalachian State, Central Arkansas, Florida A&M, Houston Baptist, Lamar, Milwaukee, San Jose State and Southern.

Southern is a different case in that its academic data was deemed to be unusable by the NCAA earlier this spring. In late February it was reported that the school was working with the NCAA to get the proper data submitted, however on Wednesday it was stated that all Southern athletic programs are ineligible for postseason play.

In addition to the postseason bans there were some schools that were hit with reductions in practice time and scholarships. Eleven men’s basketball programs are facing Level One sanctions, which would result in a reduction of four hours and one day of practice time.

Those programs are: Appalachian State (they’re appealing this sanction), Binghamton, Cal-State Fullerton, Central Arkansas, Charlotte, Fairleigh Dickinson, Houston Baptist, Lamar, Milwaukee, San Jose State and Tennessee-Martin.

Three others (Alabama State, Florida A&M and FIU) are facing Level Two sanctions, which would result in not only the loss of practice time during the season but also limits what can be done athletically during the offseason. And one program, New Orleans, faces Level Three sanctions.

Those sanctions can also include a reduction in the number of available scholarships and limiting the amount of practice time for incoming athletes who don’t meet certain academic standards.

All nine programs banned from postseason play in 2012-13 (Bakersfield won its appeal to avoid a postseason ban), including national champion UConn, posted APR scores high enough to avoid a similar penalty in 2014-15. UConn’s multi-year score is 936, and of those schools Jacksonville State posted the highest multi-year score (956).

For schools whose multi-year scores did not meet or exceed the 930 threshold, a two-year average of 940 or better was good enough to remain eligible for postseason play.

Duke knocks off No. 13 Louisville in first game of critical four-game stretch

Duke's Grayson Allen (3) and Marshall Plumlee (40) react during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Louisville in Durham, N.C., Monday, Feb. 8, 2016. Duke won 72-65. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
(AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Leave a comment

Grayson Allen scored 16 of his 19 points in the first half and Brandon Ingram added 18 points, 10 boards and four assists as Duke picked up a critical win over No. 13 Louisville in Cameron Indoor Stadium on Monday night, 72-65.

A call this a critical win for the Blue Devils because it kicks off what may be the most important two-week stretch of Duke’s schedule This weekend, the Blue Devils square off with No. 9 Virginia. Next Wednesday, they’re at the Dean Dome to take on No. 7 North Carolina. Four days after that, they head to the Bluegrass State to pay a visit to Louisville.

 

With the way that Duke has been struggling on the defensive end of the floor without Amile Jefferson, that’s a stretch that could derail Duke’s season; entering Monday, all four of those games were losable. But a four-game winning streak — or even going 3-1 in that stretch — could completely change the tenor of what has been a fairly disappointing year for the defending champs, and that’s before they get Jefferson back to 100 percent.

And the difference was defensively, at least in the first half.

I’ve written in this space a number of times about how opponents know what they’re going to get from Duke defensively. Coach K, traditionally, plays half court man-to-man defense, switching every exchange — ball-screen, off-ball pick or simply when two players run by one another — that doesn’t involve the center. In recent years, he’s played some zone in situations where he defense has struggled or, like this season, when he doesn’t have the depth to risk foul trouble. We’ve even seen some 2-2-1 pressure from him of late.

But on Monday night, Duke played straight man-to-man for much of the game, and in the first half, it seemed to fluster the Cardinals. They scored just 24 points in the first 20 minutes, and while Louisville did find a way to break Duke down defensively in the second half — they shot better than 55 percent from the floor after the break — but part of the reason Duke was able to win this game was the lead they built. After a three from Allen opened scoring in the second half, the Blue Devils were up by 14, and while Louisville made a run down the stretch, they could never get control of the game.

Duke is becoming appointment viewing for basketball nerds like me that pay too much attention to X’s-and-O’s to see what kind of wrinkle Coach K is going to put in to try and compensate defensively, so I’m not sure that this performance sticks. But it is worth noting that this was the first time in eight games the Blue Devils gave up less than 1.0 PPP, and the first time since Dec. 19th they did so against an NCAA tournament-caliber team.

As far as Louisville is concerned, you have to tip your hat to those kids. They played their hearts out and fought back from a big deficit in one of the toughest places in the country to play. They did all that three days after their school ripped their hearts out with an NCAA tournament ban for this season.

So good for them. You never know how a team is going to react to something like that, but the Cardinal players showed that they have some serious fight in them.

Iowa State’s starting center Jameel McKay remains suspended

Iowa State forward Jameel McKay celebrates on the court at the end of an NCAA college basketball game against Oklahoma, Monday, Jan. 18, 2016, in Ames, Iowa. Iowa State won 82-77. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Leave a comment

Steve Prohm announced on Monday that starting center Jameel McKay will not be in the lineup on Wednesday when the Cyclones take on Texas Tech.

“He’ll practice today because I want him in practice,” Prohm said, “but game-wise, he’s suspended.”

McKay did not make the trip to Stillwater with the team on Saturday, where Iowa State beat Oklahoma State, 64-59. Prohm has not gotten into specifics regarding the cause of McKay’s suspension, but it’s reportedly an issue with the way he has been practicing. McKay is dealing with a nagging knee injury, which may play a role in the situation as well.

“My hope is he’ll be with us on Saturday,” Prohm said.